Alec Baldwin is a great actor ("Hit the bricks, pal"). And his greatest creation may be the "Alec Baldwin" character who writes columns for the Huffington Post, the can't-take-our-eyes-off-it celebrity-driven car wreck of a site that generates more tears on a daily basis than the post-Katrina Super Dome. Submitted for your approval from Baldwin's latest print equivalent of a petit mal seizure:
Recruitment is down. This Pentagon has a shortage of willing and competent soldiers who can run our military machinery. So what do they do? Do they improve recruitment, training and pay for soldiers? No. They privatize as much of these duties as they can (with no bid contracts for staggering sums of money) and create new businesses that, in turn, will contribute to those that helped them.
The health care industry wastes untold billions, then passes those costs on to insurance companies who then exploit your fear and pass them on to you. Fear of Al Qaeda. Fear of getting sick without insurance and, therefore, access to effective medical care. Keep everything the way it is, out of fear. Fear that it could get worse. That's the Republican way. These guys have this country coming and going.
You'd think that the GOP was almost running this country, wouldn't you? Let's skip for the moment that the past year was the first since the (thank Milton!) return to an all-volunteer force in the early 1970s that the military actually hit its recruitment goals. Am I the only one not going the Humana newsletters explaining that premiums are going up because Osama bin Laden is threatening to steal my kidneys? I've got no use for Republicans (especially the way they created the entirely pork-ridden Medicare prescription drug benefit for the wealthiest demographic in the country), but the day that Alec Baldwin signs up for the public option is the day I start believing that he really thinks government will do things more cheaply and efficiently than an actual market in health care.
But the real gems in Baldwin's HuffPo cols sparkle in headlines (e.g., May 17's "The Rise and Fall of Detroit," which was followed by May 20's "An Apology Regarding My Letterman Appearance and a Clarification on U.S. Autoworkers") and the great personal attacks such as this one against CNN's newsmummy Jack Cafferty:
Jack, you don't tell people that a career in the performing arts disqualifies them from seeking elected office, and I won't say publicly that your being convicted of leaving the scene of an accident in which you struck a cyclist and then ran two red lights while you were pursued by the police and were subsequently ordered to serve 70 hours of community service back in May of 2003 disqualifies you from posing as a "Man of the People" on a major cable news network.
Read that whole piece here.